I wanted to say something to him, but I chose to hold my tongue. It was so kind and wonderful, but I didn’t want to express my gratitude the wrong way. His random act of kindness allowed me time to just relax this morning. His action (which I will acknowledge today to him when I can find the appropriate way to thank him) showed care for me.
This morning the kids returned to school (at least the majority of them) and my life would get back to the hustle and bustle of making lunches, preparing backpacks and dressing kids before 7:30a. I had two weeks off of this routine and it is funny how I just slide right into the daily schedule of vacation so easily (but not so well out of the vacation). Pete had returned to work last week, so he probably recognized how hard it is to get back into the grind. I also spied him making out his New Year’s goals on a piece of paper and my guess is he said he would do more around the house. Whatever his reasons were, it was better than giving me jewelry. It was the best present he could have given to me this morning.
It made me start to think about what is truly important to me and how I give “gifts” to others. In a marriage retreat weekend that Pete and I attended, we found out many things about each other, but one was how we express love. I express love with giving of my time. I like to do things for others. Unfortunately that is not how Pete sees love so my “gifts” usually fall short. Pete expresses love by hugging me and telling me he loves me. Since I don’t express love that way, his “gifts” fall short. It sounds funny, but it is true. I want Pete to give me his time, yet that isn’t what he would naturally do. I am the same with him. You can see where this would lead to a little disconnect in our marriage.
So this morning, when he gave his time to me – it meant A LOT! He truly cared enough about me to express love in a way that was not the norm for him. He took time and thought about giving me a gift that meant far more than a hug today.
This morning made me reflect on all the “gifts” that I give to people (not just my husband). Usually, I assume that when I make a meal, rake a yard, clean a house or in general just do something for someone, that they accept that as my gift of “love” for them. I do this for my friends, my families and sometimes strangers. I assume that it means so much to them because it does for me. That is simply not the case. Even when we give people the gift of our unconditional love, we have to take in to account how they show love (and accept love). Our gift (while it may have very good intentions) may not show love the way we think. Isn’t that odd to think about? I guess I just assume any gift is a good one, but clearly (like in my marriage) all gifts are not accepted with the same amount of gratitude.
So what has all this taught me with Pete this morning? Well, I guess it showed me that I need to spend a little more time thinking about what the person needs and how they usually show love (because that is a good clue as to how they express love). Even though just giving of yourself is a wonderful thing, your friend may just need a hug, or an ear to listen. I may make a meal for them, when what they really need is me, not the meal.
Take time to give a gift to someone this year. Give something that they need. Do some research. Pray for God’s guidance. Be the true example of Jesus to someone today! Just Pete’s little act of kindness (because he took the time to really see what I needed) changed my day. You know why? Because it required him to sacrifice his normal way of showing love for a new way of showing love. Make someone feel special and loved by not just giving, but by caring.